What You See by Hank Phillippi Ryan

I briefly chatted with Hank Phillippi Ryan at the spring Malice Domestic Convention.  I can tell you that she is still as bubbly, beautiful and vivacious as the first time I met her a few years ago.

Ms. Ryan is an investigative reporter for Boston’s NBC affiliate, has won 33 Emmys and countless other awards for her groundbreaking journalism and bestselling crime fiction.  If she’s anything like the main character in her books (and I’m SURE she is), she’s one helluva reporter!

Wanting to review something a little edgier than traditional cozies, I found her mystery/thriller What You See, more than fits the bill.  It will keep you on your toes from start to finish (without over the top graphic violence).

In What You See, savvy reporter Jane Ryland, finds her career on the line.  While trying to sort through her next steps, i.e., the rest of her life — she finds herself being caught up in a news story involving a stabbing outside of Boston’s historic Faneuil Hall.

Then we start seeing the other side of Jane – the personal side, as her sister, Melissa, begs her to help find a 9-year old girl who appears to be missing.

Meantime, you’ve also got corruption and cover ups going on in City Hall – and the Mayor’s Chief of Staff, Catherine Siskel, desperately trying to reign in her troublesome daughter, Tenley.  Things just haven’t been right for Catherine’s family, since their older daughter, Lanna, met an accidental death a year ago in a nearby woods.

Add Detective Jake Brogan into the mix.  He and Jane have been an item for a while.  Most of the time it works – but sometimes, well, there’s that “conflict of interest” problem-thing when Jane’s investigative reporting gets too intertwined with his police work.  This time, it looks like each of them are drawing their “lines” as both pursue answers to two separate murders. It’s a balancing act tougher than a high-wire circus feat with no net, but hey, sometimes you just gotta find out firsthand, if you can walk that tightrope or at least survive a fall.

How the stories connect will keep you wondering.  Like a roller coaster ride, you first get taken up on some of the smaller humps and slowly dropped…after a few times, you may even think this roller coaster ride is no big deal – you have it figured out!  But then comes the big mama mountain at the end – you’re taken up very slowly and cautiously, giving you that false sense of security – then BAM – DOWN YOU GO AT A BREAKNECK SPEED.

That’s how I view What You See – a twisty tale of stories within the story that will take you on a thrill ride.  And if you liked the ride, check out Ms. Ryan’s other books.  One of my other personal favorites is Air Time – stellar.

What You See was released in 2015 and Air Time in 2009, both are still available on Amazon and other fine booksellers.

A copy of this book was provided by the author.

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